GFAR blog

Upcoming webinar: “Building a bridge between scientists and communicators”


What is the right quote to insert here?

Is it:

Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated,
and scientists are beginning to learn their social obligations.

Anne Roe, The Making of a Scientist (1953)

Or should it be:

Do not share your inventions with many,
share them only with the few who understand and love the sciences.

Filippo Brunelleschi (15th century)

All professional communicators try to master the “HOW” of communications: the art of delivering a message to a target audience. However, “WHAT” we communicate, the core of our messages, we, communicators don’t “own”. The actual content and source of our communications lays with others, “who do the actual work”.

This is the challenge for all fields and aspects of today’s communications: the divide between those who “own the content” and those “who communicate the content”. It is also very true for the area many of us work in: agricultural sciences, research on food security, nutrition and sustainable natural resource management.

Scientists and communicators are often seen as having different goals and approaches. Yet, for science to be applied and to be useful, it needs to be communicated. If not, we’re stuck in the 15th century with Filippo Brunelleschi…

But, as with many things in this world, these are the kinds of challenges which make our job interesting. A challenge we would like to introduce and discuss in our next webinar:

Webinar: “Building a bridge between scientists and communicators”

Date: Tuesday Jan 17th 2017 – at 14:00 Rome time
Duration: 2 hours
(Use this tool helps you convert “Rome time” to your timezone)

This webinar is a collaborative effort: a number of scientists and communicators will share their experiences and approaches, their trials and errors to bridge the gap between scientists and communicators.

We will give ample opportunity for all webinar participants to join into the discussion, either to share their own experiences, hints and tricks, or to ask questions to the entire group.

Our speakers:

valerieValérie Poiré works as the manager of the Editorial & Multimedia Services team at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Valerie’s presentation will concentrate on “strategic communications planning with scientists”. It is based on her experience running workshops with scientists, helping to design their own communication plans to facilitate the uptake of their key research outputs by the users.
Valerie will share her view of “communications in support of the theory of change“, to move research outputs forward on the path towards impact by facilitating adoption.

marjanaMarjana Westergren is a PhD in forestry, working at the Slovenian Forestry Institute as a researcher with conservation and use of forest genetic resources, for almost 15 years.

Being a firm believer that the public deserves to know what their funds are used for, she will share her experience on how it is to put trust into an experienced communicator and make a leap into seemingly “uncomfortable waters” of communicating the ideas behind and results of one’s work.

borisBoris Rantaša is a forestry engineer. Working as project communications and dissemination manager at the Slovenian Forestry Institute, he is uniquely placed between “scientists” and “communicators”.
His presentation will be centered on motivation and shifting attitude towards communicating in the context of reaching project communication goals.
In Boris’ words: “No one at my organisation is communicating externally and yet it is my job that we do so. Where to begin? What are the obstacles? And how to deal with them? What are the ingredients for success?”

marianneMarianne Gadeberg is a freelance communications consultant working with science and development organizations, including the CGIAR research programs on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE); Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); and Dryland Systems.. She will share her experience on how to establish and maintain a good relationship with “those pesky scientists”, framing it as “how to be a subversive science communicator“, inspired the book “The Subversive Copy Editor“: Practical tips and some examples on how to work together, picking your battles and fixing it when you derail…

peter-avatar-with-dog-copyPeter Casier is GFAR’s community coordinator. For many years Peter wandered through life, as “a content owner”, working in a hi-tech IT research company and with academic scientists at a university laboratory. In the past six years, he moved to “communicating the content”-side, as an online media consultant.
During the webinar, Peter will share practical examples on how he saw scientists and communicators work together, based on “a mutual understanding” and “mutual goals”. How can communicators and scientists work out a positive and productive collaboration?

Register now!

You can register for this webinar by sending a simple email to Peter Casier – peter.casier(at)

Please mention the webinar you want to participate in, your name, affiliation (organisation/institute) and function.

We will send you a confirmation email. You will get a reminder with the technical details to join the webinar, one day before.

Register fast! Our webinars are limited to 100 participants and the available “seats” are often taken in a matter of days.

Our webinars are open to GFAR partners as well as other nonprofit organisations or individuals working in the area of agriculture, ecosystems and sustainable development. They are often attended by scientists, students, communications staff as well as agricultural practitioners.

We do not ask for a participation fee, but we encourage participants to actively engage in our webinars with feedback, questions, and sharing of their own experiences.

About the GFAR webinars

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) strongly believes in the power of communications to bring – with our partners – our common messages to the public, and to network within our own communities. That’s why we continuously support trainings, workshops and webinars on communications.

Our webinars are presented in collaboration with our partners. If your organisation is not a GFAR partner yet, join now!

The webinars are moderated via BlueJeans, an online tool running within any internet browser. It only requires participants to have a good and reliable Internet connection and a computer running any browser.

Past GFAR webinars on the topic of online media include:
“An introduction to social media”
“How to read updates from hundreds of websites easily”
“How to define and measure your social media performance”
“How to find and use pictures for your websites”
Basic Search Engine Optimization
The Art of Website Revamps
The Crystal Ball: Predicting the future of online media

Top picture courtesy S.Sridharan (ICRISAT)

3 thoughts on “Upcoming webinar: “Building a bridge between scientists and communicators””

  1. Reblogged this on Leaf whispers and commented:
    Next Tuesday, I am presenting at this webinar titled: “Building a bridge between scientists and communicators”. You are cordially invited to participate 🙂 (see below)

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